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2 year old biting quad disabled child

gladysgladys Posts: 53Member Courageous
Dear All

Love to get your advice. I have a 5 year old (quad dystonia of CP) and a very "lively" 2 year old. They share a room (no other option). The 2 year old has started to regularly bite the 5 year old on arms/chest etc. Clearly he cannot fight back and it really presses my buttons, and he often has teeth marks on him.  I now put the 5 year old to bed after the 2 year old, so it doesn't happen in the evening time when 2 year old tired and emotional. 

Has anyone had this ? Can you advise ? I've tried all the "no biting lessons to the 2 year old, nursery addressing it etc.

Very many thanks 

Replies

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,580Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @gladys

    The Supernanny website said:

    "Understanding why a child bites is key to beating the problem. Not all children bite out of anger or to hurt another child – in fact young toddlers can’t really understand how much pain they’re causing. “You must ask yourself what the child is achieving by biting,” says Lyn Fry, educational psychologist. “Think what the reward is for him or her – does he get a huge amount of attention?”
    Experts advise parents to try and see biting as a way of communicating rather than just bad behaviour – once we do that, we’ve got more choices in how to respond.
    Look at who they bite, when they bite and in what situations. And a tailor-made response will be more effective than a “one-size-fits-all” solution."


    Check out the website for more hints and tips.

    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • gladysgladys Posts: 53Member Courageous
    Hi Sam . Thanks so much for helping out with that . However I have thought it through. He is biting to get my attention. Although biting his brother at 4 in the morning does get my attention it is difficult to prevent at such an hour unless I sleep right next to him and difficult to prevent the brother having a whole chest of bite marks on him . I have upped the amount of attention he gets , but I of course have to spend a lot of time with his brother out of necessity. I work full time and am a sole parent as well , so there’s just so much I can bear ! 
    Super nanny advice is great , but it’s often doled out by theorists with no kids who don’t have endless weeks of sleepless nights ! 😁
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,580Administrator Scope community team
    I am a mum of three and totally get the sleepless nights (though mine are teenagers now!) 

    Have you spoken to your Health Visitor at all? Being a sole parent and dealing with all this must be really tough on you, do you get any support?

    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • gladysgladys Posts: 53Member Courageous
    Health Visitor - what s that ? I haven't seen her for about 18 months ! I'm not sure who I will go to next for advice. Hopefully in about a years time the little one will have grown out of it ......

    I have a carer for my sons when I go back to work next week. But thats about it really. I get by though. Thanks for asking .....


  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,580Administrator Scope community team
    Health visitors can be really helpful, I know some arent great but could it be worth getting in touch with them and asking for support? 
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 294Member Pioneering
    One way has worked, on the assumption the child cannot  comprehend why biting is wrong. Bite the biter. 

    Gently, but enough to discomfort and concern the child.  As he has actually  caused marks, he  needs also to  be asked to find out how hard he needs to bite his own arm, to make that happen.   

    Both mum and biter could make a joint check to reveal the brother has no  marks, resulting in a threeway session of attention, particularly favouring the (hopefully,) E X biter.

    This isn't brutality, it is considerate parenting of any biter.   The habit needs to stop, in his own best interests.   It will get him hated and excluded from schools and friendships.
  • gladysgladys Posts: 53Member Courageous
    Hi there newborn. Many thanks for that suggestion. I did think of this one already and have given him a couple of gentle bites myself so he can see what it feels like. As for trying to gauge what strength of bite is needed to make marks, I think at two years old he is just too young to "get" that. Also sadly he didn't "get" either the bites from me. 

    It has helped that he is back at nursery after the summer holidays and up early in the morning as a result. At nighttime his elder brother gets introduced into the room later. I plan to ask nursery's advice as well, and get them to reinforce the "no biting" message there also. Maybe he'll grow out if it into his 3's ..... and not "get him hated and excluded from schools and friendships" - quite strong that !!
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 294Member Pioneering
    Yes, sorry that was too strong wording.  Had various experiences, and in particular  was reminded of a pair of primary age brothers who were excluded by the other children, who  learned to run home if they emerged from their house.  They feared them because they were biters. 

     It was a shame, for them, to miss out.

    They all lived in  a friendly community where children played together in a playground in front of the houses, and all went to the school just down the road.

    You are right though, it is probably something that will go away as your boy ages.  Those brothers were unusually old to still be biting.........hmm .... their parents were both,....... wait for it .......child psychologists!
  • gladysgladys Posts: 53Member Courageous
    Ha ha ha ! No worries, all fine . Here’s hoping he grows out of it ! Thanks though . 
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,580Administrator Scope community team
    @KellyParentAdvisor do you have any thoughts?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • KellyParentAdvisorKellyParentAdvisor Posts: 32Volunteer community advisor Courageous
    Biting is really common at this age, and is often down to either lack of ability to communicate properly yet (ie they know what they want to say but haven't yet developed the speech to say it!) or, like you suspect, is an attention-seeking behaviour. This is really difficult when you have another child with additional needs, as clearly they will get a lot of your attention. 

    Sadly, biting is often something that has to be grown out of, but the less attention you can give him when he does it the better. Just remove him from the situation and turn your back, give lots of attention to your other child. Are you able to make time for just the two of you to have some mummy-son 'dates'? The more positive attention you can give him, hopefully the less he'll feel the need to bite. I don't personally think giving him a bite back will help - we can't try to teach our kids something is wrong and then do it to them - totally confuses the message! 
  • gladysgladys Posts: 53Member Courageous
    Hi there Kelly 

    Thats really useful advice thanks so much. Since I wrote that last post he seems to have abated a bit on the biting front which is good news. I have  separated the kids at bedtime initially to try to prevent it, as well as other tactics. But all the things you say here are certainly very relevant and useful. Thank you so much , and I will definitely ask for your advice again if needed if you dont mind. Emma 

  • KellyParentAdvisorKellyParentAdvisor Posts: 32Volunteer community advisor Courageous
    Hi Emma, glad to hear things are improving! Please feel free to ask anything - I'll always try my best to answer or find somewhere to refer you to  :)
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